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Lexington Gist Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • W&S94
  • V92
0% ABV
  • WE93
  • WW93
  • W&S91
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
How often does a cabernet remind you of fresh red raspberries? Like the 2013 Lexington Apex recommended above, this presents cabernet at its most energetic; it sings tenor, not bass. It’s clean and zesty, with a primal juiciness that lasts, the tannins polished and finely ripened, so you hardly notice them. One useful analogy might be a tight but fresh premier cru Burgundy: the kind of firm, earthy, acid-driven red that will evolve at an even pace. You can enjoy this in its youth, or in five years, or in fifteen. (400 cases)
V 92
A big, rich wine, Lexington's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Gist Ranch Estate packs a serious punch. Imposing mountain tannins gradually melt away to reveal a core of super-expressive dark cherry jam, grilled herbs, tobacco, leather and menthol. This is an especially big, ample style with plenty of structure from its location at about 2,000 feet above sea level. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2013 for at least a few years.
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Lexington, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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Dr. Fogarty was first introduced to the industry in 1969 when he began teaching surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center. Intrigued by the creativity of winemaking, he would often help a Stanford colleague, who operated a small winery, with vineyard and cellar practices. His interest blossomed and he later purchased acreage in the Santa Cruz Mountains that eventually became part of what is now the Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards. He built a small cellar on the property and began making wine with grapes purchased from nearby growers. He planted his first vines in 1978 and established a commercial winery in 1981. The estate now consists of 325 acres, 25 of which are under vine.

The Lexington label is a fairly new project for the Thomas Fogarty brand. The successful Cabernet Sauvignon-based Lexington is now its own label, which beginning in 2011 features a few single-variety bottlings and the flagship Apex.

Santa Cruz Mountains

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

HNYLXNCSN13C_2013 Item# 183276